As I’ve said before, it was only a matter of time before someone tried it with the tools as they are now. Now Austrian jeweller Boltenstern has collaborated with Cooksons to develop and release the first platinum and gold 3D printed jewellery collection, called Embrace.
The Bracelet design from the new 3D printed platinum “Embrace” collection.
More images from the collection after the break.
Jewellery Focus recently wrote an interesting editorial on how designer jewellery brands are tapping into the zeitgeist by finding weird and wonderful ways to manufacture their jewellery. While it’s hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said about the classic strategy of differentiating a brand by using exotic materials or manufacturing process, Mr. Northcote is absolutely right in pointing out the growing number of designer jewellery brands who are happily stepping into what was once the preserve of the contemporary art jeweller– innovative choices of material and method. CAD/CAM of course is one of these methods, but these innovators borrow techniques from many crafts and industries such as wood working, ceramics, stone cutting, and industrial metal tooling.
To add to the short list of makers included in the article (such as Bailey of Sheffield and Vanacci), here are a few of a growing list of premium and luxury brands which create jewellery using both innovative materials and innovative manufacturing processes:
A few weeks ago the Economist ran a briefing on 3D printing and it’s effects on mass production, alongside an equally good leader article. While it is general in its nature, there are elements in the article about jewellery manufacturing.
Overall, the article both provides a current snapshot of the readily available state of the art in rapid manufacturing, as well as introducing to the general public how current trends in 3D printing are affecting the way commercial and industrial goods are manufactured. They’ve even mentioned in passing a commonly reiterated point about 3D printing’s particular strength in the area of small scale mass production versus using traditional mass production on short product runs.
I’m listing it here as a useful reference for those jewellery CAD/CAM users who may want somewhere to start when communicating to others what the fuss is about with 3D printing.
It seems even with old-fashioned fine jewellery techniques, innovation is still possible.
With their new Merveilles collection, Swiss jeweller Boghossian has unveiled an entirely new diamond setting technique they call merveilles setting. Within this setting, the surrounding stones play as much a part in holding the diamonds in position as the metal itself.
See for yourself:
The technicians at FormLabs have written a first rate article on painting and applying clear-coats to 3D printed models to turn them from prototypes into sellable parts.
Considering just about every other area of product design makes use of paint jobs for finishing parts, it make sense there are likely CAD jewellery designers out there who would find this technique useful for their work.
For the latest instalment of Something Beautiful in Jewellery, I’m presenting two pioneers of 3D printed contemporary art jewellery design.
Most people in jewellery now seem to accept CAD/CAM as a fact of life, especially with all the new design possibilities it provides. But even 10 years ago this was not the case. Back then, while there were a few mass production jewellers quietly working to incorporate CAD/CAM into high street jewellery making (myself included), but most creative designer makers considered CAD a dirty word.
There were only a handful of intrepid designer-makers who not only insisted on using CAD and 3D printing for their jewellery and objets d’arts, but embraced the early forms of the technology for all its production quirks. I’m showcasing two such designer-makers today, one British (Jo Hayes-Ward) and one American (Bathsheba Grossman).
Ring by Jo Hayes-Ward
Pendant by Bathsheba Grossman
It seems we have recently started seeing a big momentum change in the fields of wearable tech and smart clothing. Recent innovations in embedded RFID technology (as I discussed back in 2012), cost-efficient 3D printing for accessories (as I’ve also been following here), and new materials research have finally come together to create a proper trend in wearable technology innovation.
The InnovateUK Blog has written a good overview of the many different directions of wearable technology research happening now.
But there is so much more going on right now in many fields of accessory design and experimental fashion. While some of the immediate applications are clearly more practical than others, all of them show the commercial possibilities we’re only just barely starting to explore within these technologies.